Thursday, March 11, 2021
In partnership with the World Affairs Council of Greater Houston and the Honorary Consulate of Latvia for the State of Texas
Free event with suggested contributions $5-20
In honor of Mark Rothko’s Latvian heritage, Latvian jazz ensemble the Māris Briežkalns Quintet commissioned ten Latvian composers to each create an original jazz composition, arranged and performed by the Quintet. Each composition is created to illustrate the moods and atmosphere evoked by an iconic Rothko painting selected by the composer. This program is underwritten by Peter Ragauss.
Performers include Māris Briežkalns – drums, band leader; Viktors Ritovs – piano, keys; Raimonds Macats – harmonica, cello, keys; Kristaps Lubovs – saxophone; and Andris Grunte - double bass
Māris Briežkalns Quintet (MBQ) is one of the leading acoustic mainstream bands on the Latvian jazz scene, stretching special accents on pop, jazz, and Latin jazz. MBQ has performed on several international stages, including MIDEM, Pori Jazz, London Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz, Jazz at Castle in Prague, Venice Jazz Festival, Blue Note Jazz Club in New York, and Tokyo Jazz Fest. MBQ’s project Latvian Evergreens has two volumes, showcasing Latvian classical and pop music in versatile jazz arrangements. Māris Briežkalns Quintet released five albums: Felix Jazz, Latvian Evergreens Vol 1, Jazz At Castle, Latvian Evergreens Vol 2, and Rothko In Jazz.
Māris Briežkalns, the leader of the quintet, is a drummer and producer. Among other things, he is the Head of Latvian Radio Recording Studios Department, was the Artistic Director of Latvian Radio Big Band for several years and has participated in the recording of over 70 music albums, has hosted workshops in Norway, Germany, Great Britain. He runs the Contemporary Music Centre and produces the "Rigas Ritmi Festival” and the International Jazz Artists Competition “Riga Jazz Stage”. Māris Briežkalns has been nominated for and received many awards, including the highest Latvian state honor, The Order of the Three Stars.